wrote and read and wrote

then I manned the lifeboat to 

her warm welcome shore


it was your hands in

mine this morning holding this 

frayed book of prayer


here I am holy

forgiven  betrothed to the

greater force within 


imagine both of 

us rolling in the leaves  born

again in the earth


besides playing the

piano  I would like to fall

here  these woods  someday


nude turtles and tea

child of option tastes the rain

full May moon   shining


like me  laundry

un-ironed  unfolded  my

crude ways unwelcome


what if there is no

middle ground and we do not

get away easy


suddenly  out of

nowhere  I find myself with 

bouquet of haiku


earth remembers and

repeals  decides  over-rules

our rude presence here 


love and grievance fall

softly on this wintry day

smokestack kills the sky


I climb this mountain

to root myself  be cut by

the wind of season



father old pine on

path fallen the glacial cliffs

grow bright with morning

sometimes the clown sobs

fighting hell’s geometry

buckling at the knees
may the fallen leaves

outnumber your grievance

your tea warm to the taste
all I am I owe

to the man above and the 

girl upstairs asleep
summer greenery

billows into the night to

forgive each green leaf
sunrise eastside Dag

Hammaerskjold Plaza   weeping

cherries   springtime snow
old sun settles the

debts of Lowell   goodnight my

sad  blue angel friend
on dry grass wind the

sad songs of men echo from

fields   children at play

6haiku  (ending sequence)

this is the story

of my mind as told by one

just outside my mind

we are given  life 

and death fragments  fractions to

fathom   a good life

my soul a tourist

and for all I know   journey

is far from over

what will they find in

Neruda’s dust   flowers for

each of our kindness

the intimacy 

of prayer between lovers in 

the new morning light

we build consensus

but why    you cannot argue

with a hunting brood

Circling Planes

I spent vernissage

w/Merwin and Flannery O’Conner.

Two kids from the hood

talkin’ shit

like cirlcing planes.
“You sit in the smell

of what passes for food,

breathing what passes for air.”

“Well Bill, yknow where you are

ain’t no good

unless you get away from it.”
I couldn’t get a word in 

edgewise. So I waved for more drinks

and fried calamari. Watched as the waitress

wondered our names.
“For writers to worry 

is doing God’s business,” 

Flan advised. To which Merwin replied

“The story of each stone

leads back to a mountain.”
I couldn’t keep up

w/this conversation

even if

I hadn’t had

four drinks

on an empty stomach.

Even if

I hadn’t been drunk

the night before w/ee

“live by love, though the stars walk backwards”

and Joey Ramone

“gimme gimme shock treatment”
Flannah, (I called her Flannah)
noticed my numbness and questioned

“To expect too much 

is to have a sentimental view

of life. Don’t you agree?”
“Yea, I guess.” I never did pass

the pop quiz, truth be told.

I painted the corners mostly

and was better at bullshit

though I never knew

which was which

w/these two.
“One wrong word 

and you kill the whole joke,  ”

the poet said of his trade.

“Never be afraid to stare,”

she stared from those crazy glasses.”


again I dialed tocall him   again he answered

call me anytime


this lonely time   while

God decides the moment  when

pain   at last.   will end


morning swan ruffles
preening    cry of crow   silent 

oak   maple   white birch


I press the lever

on the toilet   down the drain

in the voting booth


I find myself a

part of the whole with a peace

dawning from within


he who once moved my
mountains   needs help with his pants

shoes   book of prayers 


oar in water oar

in sun oar in water oar

in sun in water


snake rooster pig   your
guess as good as mine as to

what I am next time


only this river

knows our secrets   our faults

its darkest deep silt


just this world and my

place in it   which no account

of your wars will change


shoulder to shoulder

envious men   abandoned

from their daily grace


for all our wars our

avarice    on mountaintop

I await your mercy


the squirrels on Cape

Cod all wear fisherman’s caps

squirrels on Cape Cod


a heartened prayer

a poppy tune   a pretty

girl comes jogging by


my father’s old shirt

tattered   frayed   finally

fits the errant son



do we ever notreload    but replace   redress

replenish the whole


must we drain every
river   behead every tree

move moutains for lanes


the callous heart loves
harshly   the craggy midget

conveyed like Tom Waits


what did I miss while 
swearing allegiance to my

self   deaf to prayer


this is the moment

the Lord has made and I am 

present, here, at last


I zig  I zag  so 

what   it’s only New York 

and everyone’s high


lone goose, big sky, man 

in driveway happy and high

in my truth I stand


just because we do

not evolve   nurture   does not 

mean all nature stops


maybe we shouldn’t

stop the next war and see who 

God really likes best



there’s a weirdness
’round here this morning girl not

well cats unsettled


Neruda wrote in

colors of hope I the red

blood remnants of heart


the commotion of
America goes on    on

darkly    darkly on



mercies rippling    shifting like

Monet    hand hewn heart


hey numb nuts it goes
like this    if it was fun would

you call it a job


if nothing matters

dharma son     why so many

ways to make coffee


the weight of shade on

my face   full moon    new snow   new

motors of intent


every moment hasmercy   so plan ye a long

day and live   rejoice


I fall thru the cracks

into the arms of Heaven

the arms of Heaven


moonlit walks with a

girl who hurts     moonlight cures

all dark times of loss


your wet cleavage that 

briny Wellfleet morning of 

oysters, beer, and wine


grey the river   gull

driftwood  shore  stone   the hair on

the fisherman’s head


take nothing as you

travel   worker earns his keep

warrior walks light


streets burn with excess

zealots   emigrants    orphans

the hard cost of words


nocturnes surround her

invention and wonder her

obvious manner


I am the cheapest

whore among my kin unfit

to define a god


there is war in all

our poetry    bombers

in yonder blue sky


ankle deep in our

sea of days    fishermans’s wife

prepares her table


bundled from the gale 

God’s great wash absorbs marvel

its vigorous churn


I have no long term

strategy    if you did not

know that all by now